If you’re interested in buying a hybrid vehicle or are already the proud owner of one, you may be curious about the history of their invention and development. While hybrid technology may seem new, the history of these vehicles spans over 100 years. If you’ve browsed our inventory of new vehicles and an EV or hybrid piqued your interest, you may want to learn more about these cars and trucks. Keep reading to find out when the first hybrid car was invented, review their rise in popularity, and discover the exciting future of these cars.
The Beginning of the Hybrid Vehicle
In 1899, engineer Ferdinand Porsche built the first hybrid car, which is defined as a vehicle that runs on two sources of power. Porsche created the System Lohner-Porsche Mixte, a car that used a gasoline engine to provide power to an electric motor within the vehicle to operate its front wheels. Drivers were interested in Porsche’s creation, and he produced over 300 models due to popular demand.
However, in 1904, when Henry Ford created the first automobile assembly line, interest in hybrid vehicles began to decrease. Ford’s innovative structure allowed his company to make and sell gasoline-powered cars at low prices, so other cars in the market, like hybrid vehicles, became less desirable. While manufacturers continued to use Porsche’s technology to produce hybrid vehicles into the 1910s, sales were low since these cars were more expensive and offered less power than their factory-line gasoline-powered counterparts. This was the onset of a 50-year period when hybrid vehicles and their innovative technology seemed like a thing of the past.
A Rise in Popularity
The United States Congress introduced legislation in the 1960s to encourage drivers to use electric vehicles to reduce air pollution from the automotive industry. However, drivers’ interest in these vehicles didn’t really begin to grow until the Arab oil embargo of 1973, an oil crisis that caused a spike in gasoline prices and left many people wondering how they were going to afford to drive their vehicles. With over 85% of people driving to work in the 1970s, being able to fuel their vehicles was essential.
This meant that alternatives, like hybrid vehicles that could run on energy rather than gasoline, become more appealing. Automotive manufactures spent the next 25 years developing and improving hybrid technology to supply cars that drivers could rely on, even in the event of unstable gas prices. However, they only developed a few hybrid vehicles that could actually reduce drivers’ dependency on oil and compete with the affordability of standard gasoline-powered vehicles.
Hybrid Technology’s Latest Developments
The development of new hybrid technology and vehicles in 1999 and 2000, like the Toyota Prius, began to shift drivers’ perceptions of these cars. The Prius was the most popular hybrid vehicle ever created. It inspired manufacturers to use its technology to develop various other electric vehicles and release them into the market. This led to the rise of the Prius in the United States, which made way for a number of other hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs).
Gradually, consumers increased their environmental awareness and continued to learn about the consequences of their vehicles’ carbon emissions. Because of this, the Prius began to gain competition, and drivers could purchase HEVs from various manufacturers. As engineers and automotive manufacturers continue to develop innovative hybrid technology, you can expect to see more of these impressive vehicles on the market.
Are There Different Kinds of Hybrids?
Hybrid vehicles continue to grow in popularity, so you may be wondering about their structure and what design options you can choose from. As you search for and compare cars, it’s important to understand that there are two primary kinds of hybrids: the parallel hybrid and the series-parallel hybrid. The parallel hybrid is less expensive and includes a simpler structure and design, while the series-parallel hybrid is a little more intricate.
The engine and electric motor combine in a parallel hybrid to control the transmission. This means that the gasoline engine powers the vehicle, while the electric motor takes control when you drive at slower speeds and offers an additional boost. A parallel hybrid’s gasoline engine isn’t responsible for recharging the car’s battery.
In the configuration of the series-parallel hybrid, the vehicle’s electric motor and engine feed into the transmission independently. This means that your car can operate fully on either the gasoline engine or the electric motor, depending on which energy source you prefer and which is available. In a series-parallel hybrid, the vehicle relies on the electric motor to propel the vehicle more than a parallel hybrid does. This means it’s important to charge a series-parallel hybrid vehicle, which you can do using a public charging station or by connecting a charging cord to your home.
The Future of Hybrid Vehicles
Suppose you’re interested in a hybrid vehicle. In that case, you’ll be glad to learn that an increasing number of automotive manufacturers, including reliable favorites like Chrysler and Jeep, are releasing top-of-the-line hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles. By 2030, some car manufacturers expect to be fully electric, which is exciting if you’re looking for eco-friendly and powerful cars, trucks, and SUVs. When searching for a hybrid of your own, check out the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid and any of Jeep’s 4XE hybrid models.
Lean into the future of the automotive industry and minimize your reliance on fossil fuels by choosing a hybrid vehicle. As the demand for hybrid vehicles rises, car manufacturers may be able to offer more affordable prices on these compared to their gasoline-fueled counterparts, making a hybrid vehicle an environmentally conscious and more affordable choice.
We know it’s important to stay informed about the latest automotive technologies and developments at Huffines Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Plano. We’re happy to discuss the exciting future of hybrid vehicles. Get in touch with us at 972-696-7251 to chat with a friendly and knowledgeable member of our team, and check out the hybrid vehicles in our new car inventory.
We’ll help you review your priorities, consider your budget, and find a car with the safety features and exterior details you want. You can also contact our general manager directly, so you can rest assured that you’re getting the best possible deal for your new car.